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“Old Girl's getting 'Long in the Tooth'”

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O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
Ranked #102 of 355 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
East Texas
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Old Girl's getting 'Long in the Tooth'”
Reviewed 6 August 2008

We've stayed at the OBrien Hotel a number of times in the past, but she's getting a bit "shabby." At least the carpet in our room was clean this visit ! There were some other cleanliness issues, however; mold around the bathtub & shower surround joints (a little bleach would get rid of this), and mildewing curtain sheers in the window (again, take 'em down & wash 'em with soap & some BLEACH !). The problem with the curtains seems to be caused by the A/C unit which is right under the window...and it blows the cool air UP INTO the curtains & against the window---INSTEAD of out into the room ! We had to leave the curtains wide open at night to be able to sleep (90+ degree heat outside), and this was not a lot of fun (considering we were on the 1st floor). People parking their cars in the back could stare right in the window (not that they would see anything !).
The beds were not as comfortable as in the past; I assume they have replaced their wonderfully soft & cushiony mattresses with the hard as a board (read CHEAP) ones usually found in budget-priced motels. Too bad---they used to be really luxurious & afforded us a great night's sleep !
Alas, the parking situation has not gotten any better...still nowhere near enough spaces for guests who have to DRIVE to S.A. (who wants to fly nowadays, anyway ??) And, DRIVERS BEWARE...if you park out front, DO NOT let any part of your automobile stick out over ANY SECTION OF THE SIDEWALK...the metermaids in downtown S.A. are particularly hungry as of late (maybe they work on a "commission " basis), and you will be TICKETED and/or TOWED. (Trust me, it WILL happen !!!)
The OBrien used to have wonderful continental breakfasts; now it is mostly pre-packaged junk like you would find on a wire rack at a convenience store (exception...the coffee machine still makes very good coffee---thank God !!) And the front desk clerks used to be really nice...more that a cut above the usual minimum-wage worker with an attitude. Now, the employees are the run-of-the-mill workers who really don't want to be there (but have to be), and don't seem to be able (or again don't want ) to help you with info. on restaurants, clubs, things to see & do, or to even assist you with a problem concerning your room. Oh, well, what do you expect for $6 something an hour, right ??
The O'Brien's location is still great for anyone who must attend meetings at the Convention Center, and the price for the hotel is still pretty much a bargain (considering the exorbitant prices for most downtown S.A. hotels), but a little cleaning & sprucing up would go a long way to encourage return customers. We will be returning to the Alamo City in Feb. 2009, but we are not sure we want to stay here again unless someone hits this hotel with some "elbow grease" !!!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — cleanliness of room & lack of adequate parking
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank fastcheapandeasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBTX, GM at O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel, responded to this review, 20 August 2008
On behalf of the entire staff here at The O’Brien Historic Hotel in Downtown, San Antonio, I would like to express our sincerest apology for any inconveniences you experienced during your stay. Occasionally things happen that are out of our control. We do try to accommodate as many requests as possible; however, we are not always successful. Our parking is limited and we try to inform our guest the best we can with surrounding lot information.
. I did have housekeeping check all tubs and sheers to ensure that they are clean. I also had our maintenance man make sure that all beds are sitting properly on the bed frame. We have not changed our beds they are the same soft cushiony beds everyone has come to love. I am sorry you did not enjoy your sleep.
I thank you for continuing to stay with us and perhaps on your next visit I will get to meet you. My staff and I thank you once again for your comments and concerns.
Sincerely,
GM
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453 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Chicago
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2008

Would not return to this hotel. Parking-alarms-locks don't work on windows. Didn't feel safe at all; around the hotel or on the walk to atractions. They are close, but not feel safe. Hotel has 39 rooms and only 12 parking spots for the cost of $10.00. Stayed on the 3rd floor and the windows loose and don't lock. Room across the hall robbed and hotel not too concerned. Room okay not very large it was narrow and claustrophobic. Trouble using the air conditioner remote control. The air conditioner unit on the wall by bathroom and blew on bed all night. No fan in bathroom. Also, the next morning 9 am. the fire alarm went off while we were eating on the 2nd floor. The maids were there and said not to worry--they were doing the laundry and always goes off. This disturbed some of the guest still sleeping. . Dingy and worn hotel--even though advertised as renovated. Staff was very helpful and pleasant. Would not return; we would stay at the higher priced hotels on the Riverwalk.

  • Liked — the front desk
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ketchican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBTX, General Manager at O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel, responded to this review, 6 August 2008
I am sorry that you left unsafe with our hotel and with the river walk attractions. I had our maintenance man check all window locks to ensure that they are all functional.
I must apologize for our parking situation. Although we have limited parking (as does the rest of the City) there are several public parking lots adjacent to our hotel. Unfortunately you will find that all the hotels in the Down Town area will charge you for parking. The guest who claimed to have been robed merely misplaced his items.
It is our goal at the O’Brien to provide the best customer service we can, thus ensuring that each of our guests has a wonderful stay while visiting one of America’s most visited and most unique cities. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and we hope to see you the next time you are in the San Antonio area. I will save you a parking space and ensure that everything is working properly in your room. Thank you for your feed back and your comments. Have a wonderful day.
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Midland, SD
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 March 2008

This hotel had a great location, it was a block from the riverwalk and less than that from La Villita. It had a nice continental breakfast, but it is served right in the hotel lobby, so there is limited space and it can get pretty congested. Our room was on the road side, and traffic had been detoured down that road, so the vehicle traffic was pretty loud. The rooms are fairly small, but nice and clean. And again, the location was great, especially being that it is one of the most reasonably priced hotels in the area. They kept our luggage locked in the back room for us on the day that we checked out so that we could wander down around the riverwalk until it was time for us to catch our cab and leave. We were quite happy with the service. They did however charge $10/day for parking (we didn't have a vehicle so it didn't matter for us), but something to know so you don't get surprised.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The size of the rooms
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank christileah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laredo, TX
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2008

The O'Brien is a small boutique style hotel. My husband and I stayed here while in San Antonio for the annual Christmas Riverboat Parade. It is in downtown, but a bit secluded, still near all the main downtown attractions. Nothing fancy about the hotel, but it's a nice place with it's own unique charms (old style bathtub, windows that raise with no screens). Staff was really nice and helpful, free continental breakfast included pastries, waffles, fruit, muffins, coffee, juice... nothing spectacular, but a bit above average. Only downside was they have few places to park, and parking is $10. Other than that we already have another stay booked.

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AH2301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
florida
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2008

We just returned from a trade show in san Antonio. We hardly ever stay in the big convention hotels but look for a small "boutique" nearby. Last year we stayed at the Riverwalk Vista which was also excellent but could not get in for under $200 this year so we took a chance on the O'Brien. The cab driver was not too enthused with our hotel when we arrived late Weds. night and the same happened to others we had told about the hotel after we got there . But it was perfect. , Very clean,nice towels and linens, friendly staff . Great rooms with tall ceilings, free wireless internet and a brave attempt at a continental breakfast. Considering what space they had it was admirable. If you do not have children ask to be put on the 3rd floor so you don't have to deal with the breakfast folks on the second floor or the footsteps. parking was not an issue as others have mentioned and being a block from the riverwalk who needs one anyway. We rented a car for 2 days from the downtown Avis and were able to park thursday and Friday during a very busy week.

  • Liked — location and great bed
  • Disliked — lobby
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank kemomom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita, KS
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2008

I recently stayed at the O'brien while attending the Women of Faith conference, held at the Alamodome.
The room was comfortable, once we figured out the ceiling fan, and room fan.
Continental breakfast was sufficient.
Alamodome was a short walk away, cutting through Hemisphere Park, which allowed us to leave the car parked the whole weekend.
Riverwalk was 2 short blocks away, and we felt safe all evenings walking after dark.
My only 2 complaints were the $10/night parking fee (just include it in the room rate, and I would feel less raped, and I would request a room on the back side of the hotel, as the traffic noise was a bit intrusive.
Otherwise, a pleasant stay, with affordable rates. ($116 internet rate)

  • Liked — Proximity to Riverwalk & Alamodome
  • Disliked — traffic noise
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura1400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
City, State Orlando, Fl.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2008

Great location within walking distance of the Riverwalk.
The Obrien offers great value to the Corporate Traveler such as myself looking for a hotel near downtown.
The convenience and great staff will definitely keep me coming back!

  • Liked — the staff
  • Disliked — the parking
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JustTravelingAround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel

Property: O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
Address: 116 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205-2933
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — O'Brien Historic Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The O'Brien Historic Hotel Downtown Riverwalk offers quiet luxury in the heart of Downtown San Antonio. We are centrally located one block from the famous Riverwalk (which offers an array of restaurants, shops and nightlife), four blocks from the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, three blocks from the Alamo Plaza. You can take a breath-taking walk on the Riverwalk and enjoy the history and magic that San Antonio has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Collection San Antonio
San Antonio Clarion Collection
Clarion San Antonio
O'Brien Historic Hotel, An Ascend Collection Hotel San Antonio, Texas

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